Education is an ever-evolving field, but in the last 12 months it has likely had advances that would otherwise have taken a decade. We have learned more about the need and capabilities of remote learning, appreciated the value of technology more than ever, and had real-time insight into the problems and benefits that digitisation can bring. They’re lessons that will continue to shape the pace of change moving forward, but for now, what are the trends that are shaping the learning landscape?
It will come as no surprise to anyone that there’s an increasing and ongoing investment at schools and universities in education technology. While this was already in motion pre-pandemic, it’s clear that technology has a new and more diverse role to play in delivering education and preparing students for the world beyond the classroom. From STEAM-based programs to Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) that create a chance for students to experience real-world surgeries in a low-risk environment. At all levels of education, technology is changing the game.
A combination of digital and face-to-face
Much like the working environment, schools and universities are debating not if, but where digital learning and remote learning have their merits. A hybrid future seeing a combination of online and in-person learning is beginning to emerge. While schools might adopt a more traditional approach in the short-term, the benefits of remote learning are highly likely to play an increasing role in some aspects of higher level learning.
Automation in education
Clearly there are plenty of scenarios in which automation is not appropriate in a learning environment. Much like the world of customer service, some things just need the human touch. However, automation is proving to have an important role. For example, in marking quizzes and tests with definitive answers in order to free teacher time up for more complex tasks. There are lots of ways that automation can be used, but it seems that with the pressure on teachers to do so much, its ability to free up their time to focus on more personalised experiences is only a good thing.
When you head off to university one of the things you have to start doing is more learning on your own. It can be extremely daunting for students who have come from the spoon fed environment at school. However, in the last year, many students have been thrust into a world where their learning has rested more squarely on their own shoulders. While it’s clearly been too much in one direction and for young children it’s largely ineffectual, it’s not all bad. What if a little of that autonomy and responsibility remained with the students going forward?
Parental engagement and collaboration
We know that communication between parents and teachers is fundamental to a healthy education environment and the success of individual students. Perhaps one of the benefits of the last year is the greater appreciation we all have for one another’s roles in a child’s upbringing. The key to success has been where parents and teachers have been able to communicate to better understand what a child should be learning and where the pain points are. Communication between parents and teachers is also beneficial for monitoring that other vital elements of education – mental health and wellbeing. This is a key area where secure education technology systems can help.
Innovation and animation
When we’re free of the panic mode of the pandemic, digitisation is giving rise to greater innovation in the way we teach and learn. We have already seen ingenuity flourish under pressure, and by incorporating tools like video-assisted learning and animations, even social media, as well as other forms of innovative engagement with students, teachers are making school and university a dynamic environment that’s a far cry from the linear ways of old.
Personalised learning – smart learning works with student needs
Technology might be good for automating and standardising some things, but it also works to personalise learning for individuals as well. We know by now that not all people learn in the same way or at the same pace. As technology gets smarter it can help us tailor tasks and processes to the individual, satisfying their needs and helping them to not only learn better but apply information beyond an academic environment.
Learning beyond the classroom
As much as we enjoy technology and its benefits, we have also had an even greater reminder about the benefit of getting out of the classroom and learning from the world around us. Nature, in particular, is a friend for learning different skills and improving mental and physical health. Schools with outdoor access have increasingly been engaging with outdoor activities at Forest Schools and other learning environments, helping to improve confidence, social skills, motivation, physical skills as well as children’s knowledge and understanding of the environment.
CamVision continues to invest in robotics, AI and automation start-ups to improve the education and working landscape for all.